The Australian share market closed higher for the fourth straight day. We started higher, almost setting a new 10-year high, that was last reached on 8 January 2018 (when we hit 6,136 points. But we lost momentum in the afternoon.
Energy was the stand out performer after US Crude price surged 3 per cent to a new 3 and a half year high on the US quitting the Iran nuclear deal with Woodside (ASX:WPL), Oil Search (ASX:OSH) and WorsleyParsons (ASX:WOR) seeing a strong rally.
Blackmores (ASX:BKL) also saw a lot of buying today and it lifted the stock as one of the day’s top performers, while Pendal (ASX:PDL) glistened, rising over 6 per cent.
At the closing bell the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 11 points higher, or 0.17 per cent higher to finish at 6,119.
The Dow futures are suggesting a fall of 38 points up.
And the ASX200 futures are eyeing a 9 point gain.
Value of trades
$6 billion on volume of 734 million shares at the close of trade. The top three stocks by value were Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX:CBA), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) and Westpac (ASX:WBC).
AMP (ASX:AMP) shareholders voted almost 40 per cent against the re-election of a AMP director Andrew Harmos. But despite that, he seek re-election. It comes as the wealth management company held its AGM in Melbourne today. The wealth giant says 50 per cent of its board have left or signalled to leave the firm after revelations of misconduct were made at the banking royal commission. Andrew Harmos joined the AMP board in June last year but has been on the boards of subsidiaries since 2013. Meantime, AMP says it will vigorously defend two class actions brought against it, after losing more than $2 billion in market value since it began giving testimonies at the royal commission. Its shares lost 3 per cent today, closing at $3.96.
Pendal Group (ASX:PDL) formerly BT Investment Management reported a 45 per cent jump in its net profit after tax, to a record $114.8 million in the six months ending 31 March 2018. Its fee revenue steamed up 22 per cent to almost $297 million. Plus it also declared a 16 per cent higher interim dividend of 22 cents.
Xero (ASX:XRO) reported a 38 per cent rise in revenues for the 12 months through to 31 March 2018, to NZ$406.6 million. Over the year it built on its foundations, gaining control of its three subsidiary companies in Hong Kong, South Africa and Canada, which took its toll on headline profit figures, which came in at a $27.8 million loss.
And asset management group Janus Henderson Group (ASX:JHG) has reported $371.9 billion in assets under management as of 31 March. Profits for the first three months of 2018 rose 40 per cent to $143.6 million - 12 per cent up from a year before despite the firm reporting net outflows of $2.9 billion last quarter.
Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK) advised that the Government’s changes in having inactive super accounts transferred to the ATO, may have a material impact on its funds administration division for FY2020.
Best and worst performers of the day
The best performing sector was energy adding 2.4 per cent while the worst performing sector was telcos, shedding 2 per cent.
The best performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Pendal (ASX:PDL), rising 6.4 per cent to close at $9.97. Shares in Woodside (ASX:WPL) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) followed higher.
The worst performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Link Administration Holdings (ASX:LNK) dropping 8.4 per cent to close at $7.24. Shares in Greencross (ASX:GXL) and Bega Cheese (ASX:BGA) followed lower.
Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.4 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has added 0.6 per cent and the Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at $US1,313 an ounce.
Light crude is $2.18 up at $US71.24 barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 74.64 US cents.
Bitcoin trades at US$9,323, Ethereum is at US$761 and Bitcoin Cash is at US$1,649